(HealthNewsDigest.com) – A new category, “euphoric beverages,” claims to deliver an altered state of consciousness without adverse side effects. What exactly are euphorics? Will they catch on – fad or trend to stay?
The market for functional beverages has exploded over the last few years. More people, especially in the 21 to 36 year-old category, are searching for no or low alcohol drinks appreciating the negative effects of alcohol on their body, their safety, and the miserable experience of the morning-after hangover. Some have replaced alcohol with marijuana or CBD but these are not good alternatives in all situations. What is wanted is a health-conscious way to drink.
Hard seltzers, lemonades and drink punches have sold well recently as did their predecessor wine coolers of the 1980s. All these beverages dilute alcohol but do not eliminate it. Euphoric beverages claim to deliver an altered state of consciousness without alcohol or adverse side effects.
Euphoria is defined as a feeling of well-being or elation, like a runner’s high. Euphoric drinks use a combination of ingredients to deliver a specific effect. While euphorics is a new term, the idea of stacking ingredients is neither new nor novel. It has been known for a long time that combining certain ingredients can produce different physiological and psychological effects.
Euphoric beverage brands combine ingredients to create a synergistic pairing designed to deliver a specific effect. One common example is blending caffeine and L-theanine, a calming amino acid, to improve attention and alertness while reducing caffeine’s adverse effects, like jitteriness or anxiety.
Kin is the leading beverage brand in the euphoric category. It uses a combination of nootropics, adaptogens and botanicals in varying combinations to deliver a specific effect. Nootropics are compounds that enhance human cognition and may be a safe way to improve brain functions such as focus, memory, or mood. They can be sourced from botanicals or non-botanicals. Caffeine, L-theanine, and piracetam are examples of nootropics. Adaptogens are non-toxic herbs and mushrooms that help your body deal with physical, chemical, and biological stress. They are thought to stimulate the body’s stress-protection response and help systems return to a balanced state. Turmeric, ginseng, ashwagandha, and astragalus are examples of adaptogens. Botanicals are plants, herbs, and spices that are valued for their medicinal properties. St. John’s wort, valerian, kava, chamomile, green tea, and elderberry are all botanicals with potential medicinal properties.
As these ingredients become more well-known and commonly used, brands will combine them into beverages to create blends that provide a specific effect. Kin markets its beverages based on the supposed benefits of the blends. Kin High Rhode is an alternative happy hour beverage that is supposed to provide a joyful boost. Kin Dream Light is intended to induce relaxation and reduce stress. The brand recommends no more than 4 drinks a day and cautions against using the product if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or may become pregnant. A caution frequently applied to alcoholic beverages.
While Kin expands awareness for euphoric beverages, competitors will emerge. Both Kin and the new brands will have to overcome some of the challenges of marketing a beverage that relies on unconventional ingredients. Sourcing these raw ingredients can create a quality issue. Another challenge is blending them into a soluble, stable mixture that tastes good. Both nootropics and adaptogens can be expensive and may carry flavors that are difficult to mask.
Despite these challenges, euphoric beverages will appeal to customers looking for a new, mood-altering, drinking experience that does not include alcohol.
Time, taste, and a good marketing strategy has the potential to give us a new beverage innovation. Fad or trend? Too early to tell.
© NRH Nutrition Consultants
Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian and the author of 30 books. Available as eBooks from iTunes and Kindle/Amazon:
Diabetes Counter – the most up-to-date information on managing diabetes
Calorie Counter – a weight loss guide that won’t let you down
Protein Counter – put the latest protein recommendations to work for you
Healthy Wholefoods Counter – planet-friendly eating made easy
Complete Food Counter – food counts and nutrition information at your fingertips
Fat and Cholesterol Counter – newest approach to heart-healthy eating
Available in print from Gallery Books:
Most Complete Food Counter, 3rd Ed.
For more information on Jo-Ann and her books, go to: www.TheNutritionExperts.com.